Shortly after news in January revealed that Microsft, the United Nations, and Hyperledger had joined forces to rework how private persons can hold ownership over their personal data by leveraging blockchain technology, the City of Taipei in Taiwan has now announced its own plans to develop blockchain-based citizen identifications.
In a statement to CoinDesk, Department of Information Technology commissioner Wei-bin Lee confirmed that the City had partnered with the IOTA foundation as well as a startup named BiiLabs for its new Digital Citizen Card project.
The City will move to leveraged IOTA’s Tangle ID service for several of its future projects, which at the time of writing remain undisclosed.
Reports have indicated that the City of Taipei plans to use the Digital Citizen Card project as a means to protect its citizens from identity theft.
In a statement to CoinDesk, Lee elaborated that the city will be “…be starting with related applications for Digital Citizen Card that can be used as a platform. We also seek to boost the authentication and integrity checks for municipality-to-municipality/institution-to-institution data exchange (such as medical records).”
Blockchain for identity
The City has announced that it is open to proposals that might further develop Taipei as a ‘smart city’, and is not exclusively seeking to work with the IOTA foundation alone. As such, the City is presently not leveraging any type of cryptocurrency.
Taiwan’s national government has been quick to embrace the blockchain; last year, Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) moved to express its support for the mainstream adoption of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), cryptocurrency, and Blockchain-powered solutions.
The blockchain has piqued the interest of several identity initiatives; During the announcement of the World Economic Forum’s ID2020 project, David Treat – the Managing Director of global blockchain practice at Accenture – quipped that “Decentralized, user-controlled digital identity holds the potential to unlock economic opportunity for refugees and others who are disadvantaged, while concurrently improving the lives of those simply trying to navigate cyberspace securely and privately.”
Have your say!
What are your thoughts? How could companies or nations leverage the blockchain for identity management? Be sure to let us know your opinion on Twitter – @coininsidercom!